Reasons to Play Basketball

The search is over. Whether you’re a health fanatic hunting for a way to spice up your fitness regimen or a casual exerciser looking for a fun way to shed a few extra pounds, the verdict is in: Basketball is the answer. Basketball provides a fun and competitive alternative to more traditional methods of fitness and weight loss. Not convinced? Here are six reasons why you should implement basketball into your workout routine:

Games Are Easy to Find

Some sports require a multitude of players in order to get a game going. Basketball is not one of those sports. All you need to hoop it up is a ball and yourself. But if you’re dead set on seeing how your skills stack up against some competition, finding a few fellow ballers is not a difficult task.

If the weather is nice, try heading over to a local park and you’ll likely stumble upon a couple pick-up games. Fitness facilities that provide basketball courts are also a breeding ground for drop-in basketball games.

Run without Feeling Like You’re Running

Developing cardio-respiratory endurance—your heart’s ability to deliver oxygen-rich blood to working muscles—should be a central focus of any fitness program. And distance running is the most popular method of increasing endurance.

Runners often enjoy numerous health benefits like low blood pressure and a large lung capacity. But let’s face it, running just for fun isn’t for everyone. It can be painful, exhausting, and above all, tedious. The good news is that logging miles on the track or the treadmill are not the only ways to make running a part of your life.

An average basketball player runs between four and five miles during an hour-long full-court game; but because the game is so fast paced and dynamic, players rarely realize the amount of running involved. A game of hoops is a fun way to add running to your workout routine. After all, the old saying is true: Time [and miles] fly by when you’re having fun.

Basketball Doesn’t Restrict Workouts to a Gym

Being stuck inside while the sun is shining and the birds are chirping can feel like torture. Fortunately for you, basketball can be played both indoors and out. Implementing basketball into your exercise regimen means you’ll enjoy the best of both worlds. You’ll be able to revel in the fabulous weather while still burning calories; and when the leaves begin to change color and the weather turns severe, you’ll be able to take your workout indoors.

Fun Fact

Perhaps no one was more familiar with this cold, hard fact than Dr. James Naismith—the inventor of basketball. Naismith invented basketball to offer athletes at Springfield University an alternative to keep physically fit during the harsh New England winters when they weren’t able to go outside.

Low Start-Up Costs

Adding a sport to your exercise routine can make your workouts seem like no work at all. The only problem is that some sports require a great deal of equipment, which can become pricey. Exercise is an investment in your future, and any good investment costs money, right? Good news! You won’t run into that problem if you decide to adopt the sport of basketball. Basketball requires minimal equipment. Grab a pair of sneakers, a ball, and you’re all set!

Basketball Provides a Forum to Gauge Results

The long term benefits associated with exercise—good health and increased life expectancy—are all fine and well, but it’s also nice to see results now. The basketball court is a great indicator of your fitness level, but it can also be a harsh critic. If you’re out of shape, you’ll know quickly. The good news is that basketball is also a good teller of your results.

As you continue to get stronger and build your endurance, you’ll begin to see results. Running up and down the court will be a breeze and before you know it, you’ll be able to take defenders (who may have previously seemed always to be one step ahead of you) to the basket with ease. There are few things more motivating than seeing the results of your hard work.

Burn More Calories

There’s no secret to losing weight. You don’t need any pills or magic tonics. The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume. And the best way to burn calories is through physical activity. But be advised that not all physical activity is created equally. Numerous studies have shown that interval training burns more calories than just running continuously at a steady pace, and basketball requires a great deal of stopping and starting.

No More Excuses

Regular exercise is a key component of a healthy lifestyle, and playing basketball a few times every week is a fun way to stay active. An added benefit is that you don’t need a partner or a spotter in order to get started. So grab your sneakers and a ball and head out to the nearest court. A few weeks of hoopin’ it up will pay huge dividends!

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